Disney Wipes Marvel’s Entire Release Slate, Updates Given

in Entertainment, Marvel

A group of seven superhero characters, known as the Thunderbolts, stand in a dramatic pose against a dark, starry background. They are dressed in various costumes, ranging from futuristic armor to black tactical gear. The characters exude a sense of readiness and determination.

Credit: Marvel Studios

With Loki Season 2 having officially reached its end on Disney+, and with the historic SAG-AFTRA strike now (tentatively) resolved, it seems like Marvel Studios is looking to the future, announcing new release dates for virtually every one of their Phases Five and Six projects. And sadly, it seems like only one MCU movie will arrive in theaters in 2024.

Loki, OB, Mobius, and Hunter B-15 in 'Loki'
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: After 13 Years, Tom Hiddleston No Longer Will Star as Loki

Marvel Studios might not have a perfect batting average when it comes to their post-Infinity Saga releases, with Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023) and the Disney+ Secret Invasion show leaving something to be desired. However, most MCU fans would agree that the sophomore season of the Tom Hiddleston-fronted Loki was pretty damn near perfect, laying the foundation for the imminent Multiversal War.

So, now that Loki Season 2 is over, what’s next? Well, the finale episode, titled “Glorious Purpose,” — a clever nod to the Season 1 episode of the same name — happens to coincide with the theatrical release of The Marvels (2023), meaning eager fans can watch Carol Danvers (Brie Larson), Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani), and Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) team up on the big screen after streaming Loki at home.

Every member of The Marvels looking up into the distance
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: Marvel Studios Admits Mistake in Fan-Favorite Villain’s Debut

However, after the Captain Marvel (2019) sequel, Marvel’s once-loaded release slate is looking unusually sparse, with the studio continuing to deal with the fallout of the SAG-AFTRA strike, which essentially saw the company floundering through a state of limbo for four whole months. Thankfully, now that actors have come to a tentative agreement with the AMPTP, productions can finally resume, hopefully kicking the Multiverse Saga back into high gear.

But unfortunately, it’ll take a bit of time and patience to get there. While Disney+ shows like Echo and Marvel’s What If…? are scheduled to arrive in the not-so-distant future, with the latter potentially coming before the new year, most upcoming MCU movies are suffering heavy delays, casting doubt on the studio’s initial prospects of releasing Avengers: The Kang Dynasty in 2026.

Jonathan Majors as Kang the Conqueror in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
Credit: Marvel Studios

Per Variety, Disney announced Thursday evening that it would be reshuffling its theatrical release slate, claiming many victims from its renowned superhero subsidiary, Marvel. To the shock of many, it was confirmed that Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool 3 (2024) would be pushed back by a couple of months from May to July 26, 2024, claiming the slot previously occupied by Captain America: Brave New World, which has been moved to Feb. 14, 2025.

Additionally, Thunderbolts, the anti-hero team-up flick starring Florence Pugh’s Yelena Belova, Sebastian Stan’s Bucky Barnes (AKA the Winter Soldier), and Harrison Ford’s Thaddeus ‘Thunderbolt’ Ross, has moved from its original December 20, 2024 premiere to July 25, 2025. As for the Mahershala Ali-led Blade reboot, which has been riddled with problems since the get-go, its release date has now shifted from February 14, 2025, to November 7, 2025:

New Marvel film release dates:

“Deadpool 3”  July 26, 2024

“Captain America: Brave New World”  Feb. 14, 2025

“Thunderbolts”  July 25, 2025

“Blade” Nov. 7, 2025

While it’s not exactly a surprise to see Disney rejigging Marvel’s theatrical release slate given the circumstances, it is worth noting that Captain America: Brave New World wrapped principal photography back in June, right before the SAG-AFTRA strike, while the Deadpool threequel is set to restart filming before Thanksgiving.

So, why has Anthony Mackie’s first title outing as the Star-Spangled Man With a Plan, which is largely complete, been postponed, while Deadpool 3, which presumably still has a ways to go, hits theaters in just a matter of months?

Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson/Captain America
Credit: Marvel Studios

Well, it’s hard to say, but there could be some continuity issues on both ends. With the third Deadpool installment expected to bring back Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine and other X-Men, this could be a pivotal point in setting up the central conflict of Captain America: Brave New World. However, it’s hard to say, as this confusing release date shuffle could simply be chalked up to Marvel wanting to allow time for reshoots or give Deadpool 3 the prime spot in next year’s summer blockbuster line-up despite May typically being a busy time at the movies.

More so, Deadpool 3 now represents the only Marvel Studios film scheduled to hit theaters in 2024 — a big departure, as the banner regularly unleashes three or four features a year. But with Disney continuing to reevaluate its release strategy as part of its cost-cutting initiative — on top of CEO Bob Iger’s comments about Marvel “diluting focus” with its onslaught of Disney+ originals — this may be the drastic move both companies need to take to get the MCU back on track.

Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool scaling a wall in 'Deadpool'
Credit: 20th Century Studios

But fret not; Tom Hardy’s Venom threequel, which technically isn’t part of the MCU but is still a Marvel property, was recently given a November 2024 release date, meaning superhero fans will have something to look forward to in the new year. 

Continuing at Sony Pictures, Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse (TBA) is still without a release date, but with the strike now over, it could finally get an update once voice actors are able to get back into the studio. Sony also pushed the R-rated Kraven the Hunter to Labor Day weekend 2024, so even if it’s going to be a slow year for the MCU, Sony’s corner of the Marvel universe will be busier than ever.

Ultimately, it’s unclear how this updated release schedule will affect Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and Avengers: Secret Wars (2027). But with so much up in the air, including Jonathan Majors’ role as Kang the Conqueror, the possibility of future delays, and The Marvels’ box office performance, Marvel simply can’t afford another misstep as the inevitable Multiversal War looms on the horizon — that is, if they can complete anything in time to make those dates as productions resume post-strike.

Do you think Marvel Studios is doomed, or are you optimistic that it will meet its deadlines in time for movies like Thunderbolt to arrive in 2025? Let us know in the comments below!

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